Birth of a Startup (or Eight)

Moderated by:
Liz Gannes (All Things D)
Kevin Systrom (Instagram), Adam Rugel (Trazzler), Tim Roberts (Fitbit ), Tony Stubblebine (CrowdVine), Rabble Evan Henshaw-Plath (, Dom Sagolla (iPhoneDevCamp)
Average rating: ****.
(4.17, 6 ratings)

In March 2006, a small podcasting startup called Odeo
launched a side project. You now know that side project as Twitter.
Interestingly, Twitter is just one of the companies that came out of
Odeo; seven employees— or more than half the of the company— went on
directly to found other ventures, including, Square,
Trazzler and CrowdVine. In this session, the various founders reunite
for a conversation with Liz Gannes. Was there something special
about the atmosphere at Odeo that prompted such intense
entrepreneurial activity—or was it sheer coincidence? How did
Twitter’s start influence these other companies? And given the range
of outcomes from the startups, can we see what’s most important: team,
product or market? This session will have lots of Q&A, so come
prepared to join in.

Photo of Liz Gannes

Liz Gannes

All Things D

Liz Gannes has been a Silicon Valley-based business technology reporter since 2004, where she started her career as a reporter at Red Herring. She was the second employee at the technology blog network GigaOM, where she covered the rise of the social Web.

As part of GigaOM, in 2006, Ms. Gannes founded NewTeeVee, a site that became the preeminent source for news and analysis about Internet video and ultimately the intersection of entertainment and technology.

She graduated from Dartmouth with a degree in linguistics.

Photo of Kevin Systrom

Kevin Systrom


Kevin is CEO of Burbn, inc. – the company that makes the popular iPhone app Instagram. Originally from Boston, Kevin moved to the Bay Area to attend Stanford to study Finance and Decision Analysis. Very quickly, he got wrapped up in the world of entrepreneurship and landed a gig at Odeo as an intern working with Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey. After a two year stint of working at Google on the Gmail team and Corporate Development, Kevin worked at Nextstop which was purchased by Facebook. Kevin then decided to take the plunge and start Burbn, inc. with a focus on creating a new way of communicating and sharing in the real world. Their first product, Instagram was an instant hit – shooting to the top of the charts and gaining over 100,000 users in the first week.

Adam Rugel


Tim Roberts


Tim is the VP, Interactive at Fitbit, responsible for the digital experience that works with the hardware. Previously Tim has been a founding member of such projects as Infectious, Twitter, Odeo and Bigstep. He has also made some good looking products at places such as Yahoo!, Netscape and Organic Online.

Photo of Tony Stubblebine

Tony Stubblebine


Tony is the Founder and CEO of Social Workshop, best known for CrowdVine and soon to be known for and Hubnik.

Tony was part of the launch team for Wesabe, was the director of engineering at Odeo, and lead engineer for O’Reilly Media. In his spare time he runs the @iheartquotes Twitter account and collects royalty checks for Regular Expression Pocket Reference.

Photo of Rabble Evan Henshaw-Plath

Rabble Evan Henshaw-Plath

Rabble is the founder of Cubox SA, a rails development shop in Montevideo, Uruguay. He has extensive experience doing ruby on rails development and generally causing a ruckus. He was the architect for and Yahoo! Fire Eagle location broker platform.

Photo of Dom Sagolla

Dom Sagolla


Dom Sagolla is co-founder and host of iPhoneDevCamp. He has been programming on the Apple platform since the tender age of five, working in research and development at HP Laboratories, the MIT Media Lab and now Adobe Labs. Dom has worked at such startups as Macromedia, Odeo, and, and has helped ship applications such as Dreamweaver and the Adobe Creative Suite, as well as the Internet’s Twitter. Dom is the founder of DollarApp, developing games, utilities, and toys for iPhone in San Francisco.

  • Bundle
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Rackspace Hosting
  • .CO
  • Serve (amex)
  • Tagged
  • Berlin Partner
  • IBT
  • OpenSRS
  • PR Newswire
  • RIM
  • SoftLayer
  • StrataScale Inc.
  • TokBox

Ally Parker

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(415) 947-6306

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